They get encouragement from us. For some reason, when they feel they have nowhere else to go, they come to us. I am thinking about one parent who came in for a parent/teacher conference (that was scheduled outside the regular time) and was nearly in tears when she told us that if it were not for the Crossing, her son would never be on the road to graduation. She had to fight him to attend school everyday when he was in ninth grade. He came to us and gradually he built up his attendance to nearly 100%. He is a senior now and has enough credits to graduate today…yet he gets up every day to come to school, even if it is to help one of his friends meet their graduation requirements. The other day one of my teachers received a phone call from a parent. She begged him to help her with her son. She knew that the environment we had to offer was something her son needed. Her son knew he felt comfortable here. He comes to school daily…sometimes with our prodding and sometimes with “mom’s”…but he comes. Last year I had a student who was referred to us through his home school. At the intake interview, both mom and student broke down crying. They could not believe that they were sent here. They felt, for some reason, that this would be a punishment. I sent them home with information about the Crossing and what we were all about. Two weeks later, they came back. Mom said, “We will try this, but I won’t continue if it doesn’t help my son.” Two days ago (a year later) the son says to me: “I know the Crossing won’t be in Middlebury any more, but my mom and I want to know what we can do to make sure that I can continue here.” I have a parent who calls every day. “Can you make sure that my son comes to school? Even though I am making bad choices, I still want him here. He needs this.” We let him in, because this is his choice!! These parents would never come to school for a parent/teacher conference, because they would be afraid of what they would have to hear. So many times in the past, it was so negative. But we can give them a positive report. We can tell them how valuable their kids are. For every negative thing their child could possibly do, there is something positive that we have seen.